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Tears and prayers at memorial for Israeli teens

Cards with each teenager’s name were placed in front of candles.
Brooklyn Daily
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About 300 people came to the memorial for three slain Israeli teenagers at the Ocean Avenue Jewish Center on Wednesday night.

The teenagers, whose bodies were found on Monday, were the focus of several “bring back our boys” events around Brooklyn while they were considered missing — including a rally at Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park and in Midwood at J. Reznik Studios, where community members painted a wall that has since become a memorial.

At Wednesday’s memorial, the synagogue placed candles behind name cards for the teenagers — Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel, and Gilad Shaer — which will burn for a week, the traditional Jewish mourning period.

“The synagogue is keeping these candles lit for the entire week of Shiva,” said Rabbi Melvin Burg, who spoke at the memorial.

The nearly hour-long program, filled with a variety of speakers, songs, and prayers didn’t end when the ceremony concluded. Attendees called Burg later that night to tell him how moved they were with the program, calling it a powerful experience.

“I was on the phone until 12:30 in the morning,” said Burg.

The crowd included a variety of age groups and included people from outside the congregation.

“It was a totally mixed crowd — old, young,” said Burg. “We felt this was an issue where all walks of Jewish lives came together to pray for these children.”

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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